History of the Jackson County Historical Society
On April 14, 1969, approximately 50 people met at the Jackson County Courthouse to discuss the need and desire to form a county historical society. A second public meeting was held on May 4, 1969. Sufficient enthusiasm and interest was expressed and the Jackson County Historical Society was established.
Rev. William Boatman was elected president; Charles Holliday was elected vice-president; Jo Ann Burgett, secretary; and Aileen Neely, Elizabeth Lewis, Warren Smith, Mike Jones and Ben Gelman were named to the board of directors. John Allen and General Oscar Koch were named honorary directors.
A charter membership drive commenced. The first regular meeting was held on Monday, October 13, 1969 at the Jackson County Courthouse. Forty-three members attended and the treasury held a balance of $184.58. After the meeting, membership increased to 74 people.
The first piece of equipment purchased was a card file, soon followed by the purchase of a chair, folding table and file cabinet.
By the Spring of 1970, membership had grown to 141 charter members. The signing of the charter took place on April 20, 1970 at the Courthouse.
The Society received its State Charter as a non-profit organization in May, 1971 and qualification as a 501(c)(3) organization in June, 1971.
The Robert’s home on South 10th Street served as the Society's first headquarters. It then relocated to the basement of the old post office building. After settling in, the Society began collecting. The post office building was sold, necessitating a hurried move to a house at 224 S. 17th Street. The latter move convinced the Board that it was time to secure a permanent home.
In 2001 we built that permanent home at 1616 Edith Street, two blocks south of Main Street in Murphysboro, Illinois. The building is large enough to house our growing collections, changing exhibits, an extensive library, small store, and a genealogy research facility.
We are currently working to build a better web site; digitize our collection, making it more accessible to researchers; and providing research assistance as an additional revenue stream to support the museum.
Please consider becoming a member as we continue to preserve the past and grow into the future!